A Jewish student has been “seriously injured” outside a synagogue in Hamburg, northern Germany.
The 26-year-old victim was attacked with “a folding spade” as he was about to attend a religious festival on Sunday afternoon, according to a statement by Hamburg police.
The man suffered head injuries and was given first aid by passers-by before he was transported to hospital by emergency services.
A 29-year-old man has been arrested by authorities. Police say the suspect wore military-style clothing similar to that of the German army.
According to the German news agency DPA, a piece of paper with a swastika was found in his trouser pocket, and the alleged assailant gave the impression of being “extremely confused”.
State security officials are now leading the investigation.
German Foreign Minister, Heiko Maas, has denounced the assault on Twitter as “repugnant antisemitism” which “we must all oppose”.
Meanwhile, Germany’s justice minister has called an attack “a terrible act of violence.”
“Hatred against Jews is a disgrace for our country,” Christine Lambrecht said in a statement.
“We must do everything we can to protect Jewish life. We must oppose hatred even more resolutely and be there for those affected by hatred and violence.
“I wish the victim of this disgusting attack a speedy and complete recovery, much strength, and the solidarity of us all.”
The assault comes nearly one year after two people were killed by a near a synagogue in the eastern German city of Halle on Yom Kippur.
The shootings in October 2019 were described by authorities as an “anti-Semitic attack”.
Security has since been increased at Jewish institutions across Germany, amid heightened concerns over anti-Semitism and far-right extremism.
“I am saddened to learn that once again, this time on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, a German Jewish community is confronting a violent, antisemitic act of terror,” World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder said in a statement.
“The German government must take responsibility in strengthening education so that the next generation understands that hatred of any kind is never permissible.”
“Our young people must not learn from those who hate.”